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Thread: Can I please get a critique of the mix on these two duo tunes?

  1. #1
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    Can I please get a critique of the mix on these two duo tunes?

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    I would really appreciate some constructive feedback! Thanks

    I Can't Help Falling In Love With You (Guitar/Voice)
    Every Time We Say Goodbye (Piano/Voice)

    Dropbox folder:
    Mia Demos

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    Quick listen on cans.

    ETWSG 1 - very nice! The piano is just a little heavy handed in spots so I'd probably duck the piano a tiny bit because there's a couple spots where it stomps on the vocals. Slight pitchiness in the vocal I think might be worth a tweak.

    ICHFILWY 1 - The vocal is a little more distant in this one, and, sorry, I'm not a fan whatever that instrument is. Sounds almost like a guitar/harpsichord kind of mix. I'd redo it with a nice guitar or perhaps something else. Great vocals again, but I kept getting distracted by the instrumental part.
    "... I know in the mornin' that it's gonna be good
    when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen

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  4. #3
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    Thank you so much for having a listen! I'll hear most of the things you are talking about now, I'll try to fix them.

    I totally agree about the guitar. We were in kind of a rush so I just threw some mics up quickly where I thought they would sound good, but I'm not happy with how it came out at all! It's been quite difficult to fix with eq! It's actually quite a nice instrument in the room in my opinion!

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    The piano sounds like a Yamaha Clavinova in texture, which is a bit synthetic, and there are a couple of chords that are not very suitable as alternatives to the original - they're not mistakes, as they repeat, but are a bit reminiscent of the chord simplifications that many transcriptions use. The arrangement in the original used lots of contrary motion - as the right hand goes up the left goes down, and some of the inversions leap upwards, when they don't need to.

    The vocal, I really liked. The voice fits the song very well, and I'd experiment with some re-arrangment assuming the piano was recorded via MIDI. It doesn't sound realistic enough to be a genuine piano, so maybe an electric Rhodes type might work nicely with her voice.

    Falling in Love - I really like this start to finish. Lots of polish you could fiddle with, but I'd be happy with it in this form. The guitar is quite bright and it masks her occasionally, but that's just personal preference, and I'd take the top off a little bit.

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    Thanks Rob!
    You're actually spot on, that's incredible! It is a Yamaha Clavinova. I'm gobsmacked.
    Funnily enough, I was actually wondering if I would be able to tell if it was a real piano or not when I was recording it.
    I'm really used to the sound of the Yamaha since that's what I always practise on, so it's hard to listen to it objectively.

    Unfortunately that means I can't easily rearrange it though. Doh!
    Thanks for the insight into the transcription errors too, I'll have to check those out. I spent quite a while on it but my ear is not used to hearing piano voicings yet. I'm more of a guitarist. (As you can probably hear by my heavy handed piano playing!)
    Perhaps going over and transcribing the song more closely will help develop my ear more though. I'll listen out for that contrary motion!

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    Clavinovas have always had a characteristic sound when they're exposed in a mix. I've knocked up two chord progressions for the bit where yours went astray - the song usually uses one of them - both seem popular - in F Major, it goes either F, Gm7, Am (sometimes with the 7) then Ab, the other version misses out the Am, and goes direct to the Ab - the important bit is the second chord is minor not major. The minor 7 is a often used in inversions that make it sound like a Major chord, but its the clashing with the melody that confuses it in some versions. What do you record into? Well worth MIDI'ing up the Yamaha and recording it so you can tweak and adjust. Clavinovas, I've always found squash the dynamics of quiet notes that make small differences in your playing in quieter songs jump out - so I suspect it isn't you. You can always play louder, and then adjust it down on replay.

    Here's a link to the quick two versions of that chord progression - I played it quicker, with some extra left hand to make it a bit more obvious.
    http://www.limelight.org.uk/everytime.mp3

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    Thanks for that, super helpful!

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    Singer has a nice a voice. General atmosphere is nice. Balance between vocal and piano is good. Little vocal bobble at 1:45? Not sure - maybe that's how it's supposed to go.

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    Just listened to "Falling in Love"

    Performance-wise, you have a nice tone, but something that really irked me was bending of the notes that occur very frequently. An example is 2:25, 0:51 and 0:23 on "can't". I had to double check the original and that it wasn't done there, and nope, it's not. It's probably something that mentally prepares you for hitting the next note, but I noticed it every time and I'm sure it'll sound much smoother dropping those and just hitting the notes clean. Very good vocal sound and control too, just don't rely on that bend so often and make a conscious effort to avoid it.

    Mix-wise, everything does sound distant in that song. The guitar's room sound and EQ doesn't do it any favors. I would retrack the guitar there, when you have time.
    "No healthy person waits in line with a slew of geriatrics on a Sunday morning for pancakes" - RFR https://soundcloud.com/andrushkiwt

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    Well done. its a singer/songwriter mix and it works.

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